Newswatch Thomas Griffith: Fact, Fiction and Fakery


For those who wonder what to believe, things get harder all the time. Sociologists insist that newspapers often manufacture "crime waves." Once an unusual holdup catches an editor's eye, every similar crime is. reported as one more chilling example of the same—even though at the end of a year the headlined crime wave didn't make a real blip in police statistics. The murders of black children in Atlanta captured the press's attention because some killings seemed the work of a demonic psycho. The killings were awful; the concern is real, but the news interest has been exploited. Every violent death of...

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